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The on­go­ing ren­o­va­tions to The Zone sec­tion of the Rose­bank Mall, which I am a big fan of, have just given the cen­tre a bit of new life with its first pub­lic green space called the Liv­ing Wall. The im­pres­sive 60m2 ver­ti­cal wall gar­den is also, ac­cord­ing to the mall, the largest liv­ing wall in Africa.

The struc­ture has been built and de­signed by Or­ganic Space – a South African land­scape de­sign firm who have mas­tered the art and im­ple­men­ta­tion of ver­ti­cal and roof gar­dens.

“The Liv­ing Wall is a great ex­am­ple of our work and how an ur­ban space was trans­formed. But this is just the be­gin­ning and we have lots of ex­cit­ing projects in the works for 2016 and be­yond,” says Mario Thomp­son, owner of Or­ganic Space.

Passers-by are treated to an im­me­di­ate mood-en­hancer cre­ated by the con­trast­ing green­ery the wall pro­vides to the sur­round­ing con­crete ur­ban land­scape. Thirty species of plants, most of which are in­dige­nous, con­trib­ute to the peace­ful de­tails, par­tic­u­larly the wa­ter fea­ture, which is framed gracefully by a wooden ar­chi­trave. When gen­tly lit up by its evening lights, this ar­chi­tec­turally sim­ple de­sign comes alive.

French botanist and artist Pa­trick Blanc, speak­ing to WSJ mag­a­zine in an in­ter­view re­cently, said the big­gest thing about ver­ti­cal gar­dens was “the pos­i­tive psy­cho­log­i­cal ef­fect they can have on those who look at them. In­stead of there be­ing noth­ing or maybe a scrawl of graf­fiti, a sim­ple wall can be­come some­thing po­etic.”

You can see the wall at The Zone @ Rose­bank near the new News Cafe and the banks, to­wards The Firs sec­tion of the de­vel­op­ment. – Avan­tika Seeth

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